How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Since today is Earth Day, I thought it would be good to share some ideas on how to be more energy efficient. There are many things you can do to help make your home more energy efficient. Including our favorite, use interlined draperies in your home to keep the cold and heat out! Read on for more ideas that will help you save money in both the winter and summer months:

Get rid of energy vampires: cell phone chargers, electric toothbrushes, and other appliances still consume electricity even if they are not in use or turned off. By plugging them in just when they need to be used, you can save on average 6-8% of electricity, which accounts for an overall amount of $7 billion nationwide.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs: in 2014, manufacturers stopped producing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs (100-watt and 75-watt bulbs were already phased out). But we’re not doomed to live in the dark. Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs offer longer lasting light and are more energy-efficient than your old incandescent bulbs. Since the average home uses 40 bulbs, switching over to greener bulbs is a great way to save on your electrical bill.

Reverse your ceiling fan in winter: ceiling fans are more energy efficient than air conditioners, so if you can make the switch, do so. Secondly, ceiling fans can help keep your home warmer in the winter by simple reversing the fan’s direction to spin clockwise. In doing so, you’ll push the hot air downwards so that any heating that rises will be evenly distributed throughout your home.

Add Insulation to Your Attic: adding insulation to your attic can help seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs. The amount of insulation needed to cover your attic depends on your home’s size and the climate in your region, but you will recoup your money in a couple of years.

Wash your clothes with warm or cold water: 90% of the electricity consumed by your washer is used to heat up water. The next time you put a load in, make sure that you use soap that can be used with cold or warm water and adjust the settings.

Switch to low flow showers heads: the average shower head uses 5 gallons of water per minute, but changing them with low flow options you can reduce your consumption to 2.5 gallons per minute or less.

Buy Energy Star Products: Energy Star products, such as refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers and air conditioners, meet energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. If you plan to replace an appliance soon, consider getting an Energy Star-certified product.

Window treatments & rugs insulate your home: window treatments and rugs can be strategically used to maintain your home’s temperature. In the winter draw your drapes or shades at night to block out the cold air and keep the warmth in. Interlining your window coverings can add added insulation properties. Contact us for more information on this.


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Will My Silk Drapes Fade in The Sun?

A frequent Designer Dilemma is how to be sure that delicate and expensive fabrics are protected from the damaging UV Rays of the Sun.  We are frequently asked by our Clients if their new custom silk drapes are going to be potentially damaged or faded in if exposed to direct sunlight.  The answer is, yes, they will.  We have Clients who purchase luxurious blue silk drapes, yellow silk drapes or our deep red silk drapes and are understandably concerned about fading of the rich colors in the fabrics.  The best way to protect you drapery fabrics from fading is by using a very high-quality lining and interlining to protect them from direct sunlight.  If possible we always suggest “blackout” lining as the blackout material is comprised of a sythetic membrane that is almost 100% inpenatrable from the sun.  Blackout lining is the best way to protect you silk drapes, or any drapery fabrics from fading.  In addition, using a high-quality lining or blackout lining will also help protect your upholstery fabrics and carpets from fading as well.  Most drapery retailers will charge you a bit more to upgrade your draperies to blackout lining but over the long-term they will provide lasting benefits and will certainly pay for themselves.  Most of the better Interior Decorators will almost always suggest a quality interlining and blackout lining for their Clients.  They know that it is better to invest a little more on your custom drapes with quality linings and blackout linings than to get a call a year down the road from an upset Client complaining that their drapery fabrics have faded.


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Amazing Blackout Custom Curtains and Drapery

We did a little informal demonstration to better illustrate how much light blackout lined custom curtains and drapery eliminate.  The following photo is shot on a single window with two linen drapery panels.  One of the curtains was made with blackout lining and one was made with standard privacy lining.  The photo was shot on a hot and sunny afternoon.  The difference between the two curtain panels is quite dramatic.  When you see how much of the light is blocked by the blackout lining (95%) you really get a better understanding how using quality blackout lined curtains, drapery or roman shades would significantly lower you homes energy bills and save your interior upholstery fabrics from sun damage.   At DrapeStyle we encourage the use of blackout lining whenever the application is appropriate.  It certainly adds weight to the drapery but if you are using quality drapery hardware blackout is really the way to go when buying your next pair of custom drapery or curtains.

Blackout Lined Custom Curtains and Drapes
A good comparison of blackout lined curtains vs. normal lining

 


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